10 Things You Didn’t Know About Versilia Coast and the Cinque Terre

January 27th, 2015 / blog / 0 comments

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Versilia Coast and the Cinque Terre

When you hear about traveling to Italy, a lot of people would think of Rome, Florence, Venice, or Milan. These are some of the most popular cities to explore in Italy but the country has more regions to offer.

Italy is a very beautiful country filled with historical sites worth visiting. There’s Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan, Naples, Verona, Turin, Bologna, Peruvia, and Genoa. These are considered the best places to go to in Italy being the most famous tourist destinations. However, there are smaller regions you can visit and explore while in Italy.

The Versilia Coast & the Cinque Terre are two interesting places just on the other side of Tuscany. The Versilia Coast has beautiful and expansive beaches while further south are the five cliff-sided villages of the Cinque Terre. You can enjoy these areas by traveling from village to village by train or by a walking trail.

Here are ten (10) things you probably didn’t know about the Versilia Coast and the Cinque Terre:

  • The name Versilia is derived from Vessidia, the ancient German word for water (Wesser/Wasser).
  • Climate in Versilia is usually temperate (mild). This makes it an ideal holiday destination by locals and foreigners visiting the city. Expect about 270 sunny days with pleasant warmth. During winter, it can be cold but you won’t experience any biting cold.
  • The most populated and most famous part of Versilia is Pietrasanta. It is located at the foot of the Apuan Alps, extending along the coastline, from South to North, starting at Stazzema and ending up to Marina di Massa.
  • The old or Historical Versilia consists of four places: Stazzema, Seravezza, Pietrasanta, and Forte dei Marmi.
  • Versilian territory includes both mountain and the sea. It boasts of the longest sandy beaches in Italy.
  • One of the impressive sights in Versilia is the whole range of mountains called the Apuan Alps. It spreads as far as the north-west of Tuscany. There are about 200 caves in the mountains and some of them tourists can visit with special guides.
  • Liberty Style in art is very much evident in Versilia. It started in 1905 but in 1917, Art Deco came to life. You’ll see examples of Art Deco style in Villa Arrighi and Villa Argentina.
  • You can enjoy a lot of local cuisines in Versilia: Luca, Pisa, Massa Carrara, and Genoa.
  • The Cinque Terre are situated in the region of Liguria. It is close to Genoa and the boundary of Tuscany. Cinque Terre landscape was formed by a series of folds that results when rocks were pushed, raised, and pressed together during the Tertiary period.
  • There are five villages forming the Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Monterosso.

Want to visit Versilia Coast and the Cinque Terre? Contact Gateway Destinations and we’ll plan a custom tour just for you.

[SOURCES: 1, 2  [ [IMAGE: Davide Vadalà]

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10 European Destinations to Visit in 2015

January 20th, 2015 / blog / 0 comments

10 European Destinations to Visit in 2015

Another year is here once again. It’s time to carefully plan your 2015. Plot your adventures for a more memorable twelve months. If you haven’t traveled much last year, you can always make up this year and go to many places and gain new discoveries.

There may be a lot of interesting places in your state or country but it is highly recommended that you go out of your comfort zones. This year, take the chance of having an exciting experience in some of the top European destinations. Here at Gateway Destinations, we have excellent travel and tour packages to help you experience a wonderful girlfriend getaway, your dream honeymoon, memorable family vacations, or unique specialty tours.

Traveling is important because it gives you a new perspective and new ideas. Traveling will also give you a chance to meet new people, as well as, experience a time out from your stressful life.

So where will 2015 take you? We have listed the Top Travel Trends some of the more popular European destinations. We promise you a memorable trip to these places because we’ve planned them with interesting activities, great places to shop, new things to discover, and more.

Here are Gateway Destinations’ Top European Destinations to Visit this 2015:

1. The Alsatian Wine Route
Taste the crisp, clean wines and relish in the abundant natural beauty of the Alsace region. Its Germanic influence extends to food and architecture, serving up some of the most delicious foods in France and beautiful timbered houses and fortified castles. (READ: Discovering The Alsatian Wine Route)

2. Belle Provence, France’s Southern Jewel
Sunny skies, multi-colored fields, perfumed air, and charming medieval villages await your discovery in beautiful Provence. No other area in France, or Europe for that matter, boasts such a rich tapestry of history, delectable wines, abundantly varied cuisine, and inviting countryside. (READ: Belle Provence Tour: Discover France’s Southern Jewel)

3. Paris Couture & Country Châteaux
Begin your luxurious women-only journey into France exploring exquisite châteaux in the Loire Valley. Taste regional wines at a local vineyard and see how mushrooms are cultivated in limestone caves, while experiencing a regal life in the Valley of the Kings! (READ: 8 Travel Tips to Paris)

4. The Pays Basque & French Pyrénées
A mélange of colors awakes your senses in the Pays Basque and Pyrénées Mountains. Taste the clean salty air of the sapphire blue Atlantic, smell the freshness of the green forests and lush mountain valleys, gaze at vibrant building façades and festive clothing unique to the Basque people, and feel the strong deep traditions embodied in the ancient grey stone of this unique region. (READ: Bask In The Beauty Of Pays Basque & French Pyrénées )

5. Ancient Athens and the Greek Isles
Discover the mythological rich history of Athens with its prominent archaeological wonders of ancient times set in the midst of modern surroundings. Savor great food, enjoy abundant shopping and experience the lively atmosphere of this vibrant city.

6. Corfu & Crete, Greece
Corfu, Greece is a beautiful lush island in the Ionian sea on the west side of mainland Greece. It boasts inviting beaches and offers a variety of fine accommodations and great dining venues. (READ: Travel Tips For Corfu And Crete, Greece )

7. Italy’s Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre
Spend relaxing days in the “other side of Tuscany,” the Versilia Coast, with its beautiful and expansive beaches. Venture further south to explore the five cliff-side villages of the Cinque Terre.

8. London Theatre & Shakespeare Country
Enjoy one of London’s infamous live theatre performances, contrasting it to a Shakespearean play in the countryside. (READ: London Theatre & Shakespeare Country Tour )

9. Sensational Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast
Bask in sunny southern Italy on the hillside of Sorrento as you enjoy this women-only tour. Enjoy stunning views of the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius from the lovely Hotel Bristol, your base for the entire week. (READ: Experience Sorrento And The Amalfi Coast )

10. Venice, Verona, and Lovely Lake Garda
Revel in the unique beauty of Venice with its impressive architecture and network of intricate and romantic canals. Visit the island of Murano, famous for its beautiful glass designs throughout the world. (READ: Visiting Venice, Verona & Lake Garda )

SOURCE: 1,2 

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Top Travel Trends in 2015 | Luxury Vacations

January 14th, 2015 / blog / 0 comments

http://www.gateway-destinations.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Top-Travel-Trends-in-2015-Gateway-Destinations.png

A new year means another year to make the most of your life. It’s a new chance to travel more and discover new things.  This 2015, vow to get on your feet and explore the world outside. There’s more to life than lounging on a chair or hiding behind the computer. Sure, you can discover the world through the Internet but going to actual cities and countries is more fulfilling.

It’s time to engage with the world. Remember the 5 Reasons Why You Should Travel? You have no reason not to travel this year because fares are lower, thanks to cheap fuel. Airlines will continue to compete especially on transatlantic flights with fares falling 5.1 percent this 2015. According to the American Express Global Business Travel and IATA, domestic business class fares will still go up 2 to 6 percent while domestic economy up 2-5% only. In some markets though, the change in fuel prices will bring most fares down.

Detroit Free Press listed five (5) intriguing vacations: Cuba, Brazil, Asia cruising, Puerto Rico, and Dubai. Hotel rates are on the rise too but because of this change, the number of vacation rentals is now going up. More people will prefer to avail of cheaper vacation rentals instead of checking in at posh and expensive hotels.

Travel and Leisure also listed some super trendy destinations although we’re not sure about the criteria: Chengdu, China; Istanbul; Wasatch Mountains, Utah; Puerto Plata, Domican Republic; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Catskills, NY; and Fez, Morocco.

This year, more people are predicted to try European River Cruising. Perfect example is our Bounties Of Bordeaux Wine Cruise.

Lonely Planet also made a list of places that are worth to visit: Tunisia, Shanghai, Samoa, South Africa, Portugal, Uruguay, Bali, Romania, and Taiwan. On the other hand, the Travel Leaders Group says more travel agents are booking trips to San Francisco, Honolulu, Las Vegas, New York City, Maui, Orlando, and Alaska Cruise.

Car rental rates are more affordable too as prices stay flat in most countries. For those who like to go on a cruise, you’d be happy to know that more deals are will be offered all year round and not just during peak season. More on-board features and experiences will be added like more reliable and faster Internet right on the ship.

For Gateway Destinations, our prediction is that more people will see the value of organized trips, women only tours, and awesome honeymoon adventures. Top destinations include Africa for the Safari, Alsatian Wine Route, Belle Provence, Tuscany, India, Paris, Pays Basque and French Pyrenees, Peru, and Costa Rica among others. These cities are great for women only tours.

Top destinations for Specialty Tours are as follows: Venice, Verona and Lake Garda; Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast; London Theater and Shakespeare Country; Versilia Coast and Cinque Terre; Corfu and Crete, Greece; Bordeaux; and Athens and the Greek Isles.

Feel free to check Gateway Destinations for luxury custom travel packages.

[SOURCE: DFP] [IMAGE: Sean MacEntee]

 

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Gateway Destinations 2014 Blog Roundup

January 7th, 2015 / blog / 0 comments

Gateway Destinations 2014 Blog Roundup

A lot of trends helped define the travel industry in 2014. This year, we expect to see a few changes but it will be bigger than ever as more and more people make it a part of their goals to travel and widen their horizons.

2014 was big for us here at Gateway Destinations. We’ve helped many travelers achieve their dream honeymoon, family adventure, girlfriend getaways, and specialty tours.

We have shown you reasons why you should travel, why travel insurance is important, and some tips on traveling light. Middle of the year, we shared with you some infographics about the state of the travel industry. We learned that fewer adults travel with children according to the U.S. Travel research department’s ‘Domestic Travel Market’ Report released in 2012. In the same report, it was noted that leisure travelers are usually older than business travelers.

There are many ways travelers plan their trips. They usually ask their friends and relatives, refer to past experiences, visit websites, turn to social networks, and access mobile devices.  And for men and women, traveling and vacation actually differ.

Your passport being ready is not enough. You must also study the travel sector and see the tourism trends and forecasts the past years so you’ll be able to plan your trip well. And once you are ready, you can now plan your trip to any of the Top 9 Destinations For Girlfriend Getaways (women-only tours). Of course, you need to read on our 7 Ways To Plan A Girlfriend Getaway before you go and know if you still need visa to travel to a particular country. Planning to extend your trip? That’s also possible.

For those who are going on their honeymoon, we have our Top 8 Luxury Honeymoon Destinations list and tips on how to make your dream vacation perfect. You can visit the Ancient Athens & The Greek Isles, the Bounties of Bordeaux Wine Cruise, Corfu & Crete, Greece, Italy’s Versilia Coast & The Cinque Terre, London Theatre & Shakespeare Country, Sorrento & The Amalfi Coast, Costa Rica for an Ultimate Yoga Bliss, and Venice, Verona & Lovely Lake Garda.

You can also travel to Provence, Paris, Tuscany, Peru, India, or try an African Safari. Feel free to bask in the beauty of Pays Basque and French Pyrenees or discover the Alsatian Wine Route.

So many places to go to, so little time. These luxury travel destinations will surely give you a grand time if you decide to go with family or friends.

This 2015, make it your goal to go to at least one place you haven’t been to. I assure you, you will have memorable experiences. Your horizons will be widened and you’ll gain not just knowledge but new friends as well.

Thank you for making 2014 a great year for us.

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Travel

December 18th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

5 Reasons Why You Should Travel

They say traveling is a luxury. While it can be expensive especially when you’re going to the beautiful places in Europe, there are many ways you can save a lot of money.

Travelling can do many things to your soul. You can take a break from all the work and stress life brings. It’s okay to reward yourself from time to time because you’ve been working too hard. Sometimes, you need to clear yourself time out from everyday life so you’ll be refreshed and charged when you get back to your normal routine.

Here are some more reasons why you should travel:

1. You need a fresh perspective

Traveling will give you a totally new perspective on your life and many areas of it. If you need to make a decision about a confusing issue in your life right now, you have to go to a place that is different. It’s ideal to go to a different country where culture is completely different but you can still just go to another town or state. Visiting another place can put your problems in place. You can learn something new about other people, culture, and about your own life as well.

2. You need a timeout

There are times that you need to be free from all the stresses in life. Make an effort to clear time out from everyday life. Don’t wait for the time you’ll feel too stressed or trapped in your work. You need to get away from the familiar people, setup, or environment for a while. You have to spend some time alone too to just sit down and think about your life. Give yourself time to think about your direction in life.

3. You can meet new people

When you travel, you can meet new and interesting people. Talking to new people might give you a new perspective in life. You can learn a lot from them because of your many differences, you have a lot to talk about.

4. You have to go beyond your comfort zone

If you’ve been living in the same place or doing the same things over and over again, you need to break away from your routine for a while. Going beyond your comfort zones means veering away from the familiar people, places, and things that have made you too comfortable.

5. You need new ideas

Going out of your usual comfort zone will also give you new ideas. Traveling to a new place will show you that there are more things you have yet to know and discover. It’s nice to explore a place that you are not familiar with so you can get to know new things about the people, culture, traditions, or even new ideas and schools of thought that would help you in life.

IMAGE: fdecomite

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London Theatre & Shakespeare Country Tour

December 11th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

London Theatre & Shakespeare Country

A London Theatre & Shakespeare Country Tour planned by Gateway Destinations promises to be a memorable experience for those who love literature and history. You’ll be able to learn more about London, the city’s beautiful sights and sounds, the charming pubs, historical sites, and incomparable museums.

Gateway Destinations can plan a group tour that will include infamous live theatre performances of the classics—not just in any ordinary theatre house but right in the Shakespearean countryside.

Such group tour has been designed to expose you to the vigor, richness, and beauty of British and England theatre where most of the popular plays were written during the Renaissance period.

We plan the tour with a sense of adventure and we’ll try to connect you to the past. Our goal is to make your London Theatre & Shakespeare Country Tour a happy one so you will go back to your home satisfied and exhilarated—full of knowledge and richness of the past.

London is a bustling city in Europe. Most travelers go there to have a good time. With Gateway Destinations customized packaged tour, you can discover the beauty of London Theatre and the Shakespeare Country. Explore this side of Europe that is rich in literature, history, and the arts. By visiting London, you can learn more about the past and watch some of the best shows in the world.

Gateway Destinations’ London Theatre & Shakespeare Country Tour is available as a specialty tour for women, family, or a private group. Gather your family and friends and allow us to plan an extraordinary adventure.

Gateway Destinations will listen to your needs. We’ll welcome your ideas in creating a more memorable and enriching vacation of a lifetime.

 

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Experience Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

December 4th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

Experience Sorrento and the Amalfi CoastIf you have plans to visit Italy for a vacation, make sure you drop by the southern part where the hillside of Sorrento is located. You can go here for your honeymoon, family vacation, or a women-only tour with your girlfriends.

You can do many things while in Sorrento: taste the regional wines and limoncella, enjoy a country cooking class, and learn about the wonders of olive oil. After a couple of days, you can visit Naples and Pompeii. Your local guide will take you there to explore the place. For the shopaholics, be ready to discover the secret shopping places on the isle of Capri.

For the entire week of your tour, you will stay at the lovely Hotel Bristol where you can enjoy the stunning views of Mt. Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples. After an exhausting but fun week, drive to the amazing Amalfi coast and enjoy alfresco dining in the Ravello. It’s a quaint village overlooking the sea so it will be another great experience to end your tour. If you’re still up for more shopping, there are several boutiques in Positano.

Visiting Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast with your girlfriends is something to look forward. This trip can be the most exciting and memorable vacation you and your friends will ever have.

Contact Gateway Destinations if you want to travel to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.

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Riding the Rails in Luxury

December 1st, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

Luxury Train Travel, Riding the Rails in LuxuryLuxurious train travel provides vacationers a unique and nostalgic way to travel while offering the comforts of a fine hotel and enjoyment of gourmet food as they journey through stunning scenery. Vintage yet elegant décor and a slower pace of travel transport passengers back to a time when locomotives powered the main form of transportation. A resurgence of rail travel has resulted in luxury opportunities being available on all continents, ranging from one day to trans-continental journeys.

Several memorable short (one day or less) train trips include the Glacier Express that winds through eight hours of breathtaking Swiss alpine scenery, the British Pullman as it rolls into London completing a journey begun in France through the Eurotunnel, or the Hiram Bingham that traverses through the Sacred Valley between Cusco and the base of Machu Picchu. Some popular luxury journeys lasting several days include Rovo’s Rail in South Africa, the renowned Royal Scotsman, and Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer. For passengers with the gift of time, extended journeys can be found on the Golden Eagle as it explores Siberia or the luxurious and state-of-the art Maharajas Express in India. These are just a few of the luxury train experiences available today.

Interior of Vintage and Luxury TrainRail passengers travel through scenery that is overlooked when flying, and avoid the stress of dealing with airports. Unpacking once also adds to a more relaxing experience. Onboard amenities often include gourmet dining served in an elegant setting, 24-hour steward service, international electrical outlets, and for long distance trains – luxurious sleeper cabins with ensuite restrooms, onboard entertainment, professional tour guides and spa and fitness centers.

Due to limited space and perhaps infrequent or seasonal schedules, reservations are often required well in advance. And it is wise to confirm a train reservation even before purchasing flights, as alternate dates may need to be chosen. Featuring a rail journey or incorporating some luxury train travel into an overall itinerary can be a unique and memorable way to share time with your loved one, friends or family members. Gateway Destinations offers a variety of premium rail experiences worldwide – call us for ideas!

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Visiting Venice, Verona & Lake Garda

November 27th, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

There is so much to see about Italy. If you’re planning another getaway with friends and loved ones, you can choose to visit the beautiful Venice, Verona, and the lovely Lake Garda. Yes, all these places are described as such because they really are sights to behold.

A Lake Garda, Venice & Verona Tour with Gateway Destinations will make you revel in the unique beauty of Italy. You’ll see the impressive architecture and network of romantic and intricate canals. For the art enthusiasts, discover the island of Murano where the famous beautiful glass designs can be found.

For those who enjoy great views, see the picturesque Verona to see the famed Juliet’s balcony. There’s also the ancient well-preserved area and the very lively piazza. It is where Shakespeare set the Romeo and Juliet love story. It’s full of drama and romance that have been the hallmark for many centuries.

Go on a northeastern Italy adventure and explore the lakeside villages of beautiful Lake Garda—the largest of all the Italian lakes. The lake became famous back in the 19th century when the road around it was completed. A lot of people visit the area during summer to enjoy the gentle climate and clean mountain air.

Venice, Verona, and Lake Garda have natural beauty that ought to be explored. Go on a tour of the lake, pass through the lovely villages, and enjoy the shoreline and the mountains in the background.

Contact Gateway Destinations if your want to embark on a Venice, Verona & Lovely Lake Garda Custom Tour.

 

 

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Travel Tips for Corfu and Crete, Greece

November 21st, 2014 / blog / 0 comments

Travel Tips for Corfu and Crete, Greece

Planning a Grecian holiday? Year 2014 will be over soon and I’m pretty sure you’ve started thinking about how you are going to spend the holidays. Staying in can be a good idea for the homebodies but it’s highly recommended that you take advantage of your vacation and go on a special trip.

Traveling to a different place can enrich your minds. You can be refueled and be reminded of the wonders of nature. If you want to explore and understand more of the ancient times, why not go to Greece and visit Corfu and Crete? Any Greek Island boasts of glorious traditions that are still evident in the modern culture of the country.

More than 15 million tourists go to Greece each year. These people experience the sun-soaked islands, scenic countryside, and the very vibrant cities. A holiday in Greece will make you experience and enjoy the blue sea, mainland coastline, sun-bleached ruins, sandy beaches, and the idyllic islands.

Gateway Destinations offers a very special travel package tour of Corfu and Crete in Greece. What makes the country more attractive to tourists? Beautiful landscapes, scrumptious food, and distinct architecture. It’s also affordable in Greece so you don’t have to worry about spending a lot while on a Greek holiday.

Corfu and Crete can be the ideal summer destination. Corfu is a beautiful lush island situated in the Ionian sea, west side of mainland Greece. The area boasts of inviting beaches and offers a variety of great dining venues and fine accommodations. Most travelers don’t know that Corfu has a lot to offer. Cruise travelers often ignore it but here at Gateway Destinations, we believe there is more to Greece.

After a trip to Corfu, drop by the Crete island—the largest among the 4,000 islands in Greece. The island offers a rich gastronomic culture, remnants of ancient civilizations, and varied topography.

All these and more can be discovered in Greek. Here are some more travel tips to Greece you can follow to ensure the best vacation ever:

ACCOMMODATION
A trip to Greece is said to be affordable. You won’t break the bank planning a trip to the islands because everything is just affordable there. Plan your trip well by looking for a very low-cost but nice accommodation. There are a number of budget hotels and hostels you can find in Greece. Just check the internet for really great deals.

FOOD
Greece is definitely known for its delectable food. There are many restaurants in the country that will perfectly prove what Greek cuisine is all about. Meals are affordable and they can easily fill you up because of the large portions that will be served. It is advisable that you eat super cheap while in Greece.

ACTIVITIES
You can do a lot in Corfu and Crete. Make sure you visit the ancient sites and enjoy different island activities like banana boating, parasailing, and kayaking. You can also enjoy diving trips and riding the ATV around the island.

EARLY BOOKING
As with any travel, it is advisable that you book early. If you plan on doing the inter-island route, you should book overnight ferries and book them early. Overnight rates are cheaper while doing an early booking would sometimes give you a discount.

TOURIST DESTINATIONS
Explore the past, visit the Acropolis, check out the beaches, attend the Hellenic festival every summer, and see the many popular tourist destinations like Meteora, Olympia, Melissani Cave, Mount Olympus, and more.

For all your specialty tours and travel needs, contact Gateway Destinations.

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